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Investment trusts band together

Listed investment trust companies in the United Kingdom have got together and raised £17.3 mill (NZ$53 mill)to promote the industry.

Thursday, September 16th 1999, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

Listed investment trust companies in the United Kingdom have got together and raised £17.3 mill (NZ$53 mill) to promote the industry.

The Association of Investment Trust Companies (AITC) says the money, raised from 164 investment trust companies, will be used to fund the "its" advertising and marketing campaign it has put together.

“The investment trust industry is entering an era of opportunity as the “its” campaign will increase retail demand for investment trust shares. The campaign will position investment trusts as the easy way to invest money on the stock market," director general Daniel Godfrey says.

The campaign was designed to help overcome some of the problems the investment trust industry in the UK has been facing. One of those is of general awareness and understanding of the funds, the other relates to problems the industry has been having with trusts trading at significant discounts.

Godfrey says the campaign also aims to shift the balance of investment trust share ownership from institutions to individual investors.

Many New Zealand investors use UK listed investment trusts because they offer low management fees, and they have tax advantages over New Zealand domiciled managed funds.

The AITC has put on hold plans to develop a generic savings product. "Once the campaign is underway we will use our tracking research to gauge whether a generic savings product would have resulted in substantially more investment trust sales. If this indicates that a generic savings product is a worthwhile idea we will undertake a consultation exercise with the investment trust boards and management groups," Godfrey says.

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